Pomophobia 06.05.16

  • Minster Court, Mincing Lane, by GMW Partnership (1988–91): ‘Its articulated curtain wall, complete with expressionistic Gothic affectations, was a genuine attempt to reflect the character of the City, even if it achieved neither theatrical panache nor a dialogue with the surrounding streets’

  • Alban Gate, 125 London Wall, by Terry Farrell and Partners (1988–92), with low-rise housing in the foreground: ‘An earnest if compromised effort to repair previous generations of urban planning, yet its two towers are ponderous exercises in oppressive vaulting and pedestrian disorientation’

  • No 1 Poultry, Mansion House, by James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Partners (1994–97): ‘With its complex geometry, fine forms and rich limestone, 1 Poultry is one a few postmodernist gems’

  • Broadgate Circus, with Peter Foggo’s 4 and 6 Broadgate (1985–87, now demolished): ‘The only major development of real quality, Broadgate had the huge advantage of virgin ground, allowing a more generous approach to private-cum-public space’

  • Entrance to One America Square, 17 Crosswall, by RHWL Architects (1987–90): ‘The cocktail-bar art deco of One America Square, by the otherwise abject RHWL, still raises a smile’

  • Pumping Station, Isle of Dogs, by John Outram (1987–88): ‘It was a failure of patronage and of government that even DIY stores, private and public housing, TV studios and pumping stations achieved more in the 1980s than the offices of the City’

  • Canary Wharf in 2005, with work by Farrell, SOM, César Pelli, Kohn Pedersen Fox and Norman Foster all visible. ‘The real icon of British postmodernism, Canary Wharf proved more considered and lasting in it streetscapes, in the quality of its architecture, and in the diversity of urban life than anything the City offered’

The 1986 Big Bang led to an explosion of postmodernism in the City of London. Now these buildings are tumbling down, and the question is: should we care?

In this month's issue of Icon (pictured below), we shine a spotlight on the legacy of postmodernism in London, asking whether it's time to give up on buildings like the ones pictured above

Judge for yourself: scroll through the image gallery to see some of the best known examples of the style, alongside Icon deputy editor John Jervis's thoughts on each of them. Then tell us what you think on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and pick up a copy of the magazine for the full story.

 

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